The Seven Most Exciting Books of the Rest of 2011

Here’s an extensive preview of the rest of the year in books! Here’s what we’re most excited about:

• The Jeffrey Eugenides book, The Marriage Plot, is, according to people who have read it, ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE. Out in October.

• Donald Ray Pollock’s first novel is out next week, yay. He is a very nice dude from Ohio who worked in a paper mill and published his first book of stories in 2009, after he went to the Ohio State writing program at the age of 50.

• The Lev Grossman sequel to The Magicians is out next month, as is Awl pal Tom Scocca’s Beijing Welcomes You. We can reveal that both are excellent!

• October brings the new Colson Whitehead book, Zone One, which is about zombies in New York City, and, yes please. And also Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods, which is terribly exciting.

• And last but not least, Joan Didion’s second grief memoir, Blue Nights, about the death of her daughter in 2005, which, I’m not sure I can do that! But I probably will anyway!